2018 Ag Hall of Fame Call for Nominees


MODESTO –November 2018 marks the twenty-first annual Stanislaus County Ag Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala Dinner. Over the past twenty years the National Ag Science Center has honored local companies and individuals who have impacted the industry on a local, state and national level. In 2017, the NASC inducted the Modesto Junior College Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department into the Ag Hall of Fame.

To view the full press release please follow this link: 2018 Ag Hall of Fame Call for Nominees

NASC announces two internship positions

The National Ag Science Center (NASC) is pleased to announce two new scholarship opportunities for college students. Dan Nutley, of Moss Adams in Stockton and Norman W. Ross, a pomology professor and agriculturalist, were both longtime supporters of the National Ag Science Center. “Our programming is designed collaboratively with ag science and education influenced by ag industry. We are so very fortunate to have had supporters in the ag community who will be remembered through these scholarship programs for their work in helping our programming happen,” stated NASC Executive Director, Dr. Emily Lawrence.

View the full NASC Scholarship Press Release

Ag In Motion School Year 2016 – 2017 recap

School year 2016 – 2017 is a wrap! Ag In Motion, our 53′ mobile agricultural science lab visited 48 schools in 146 days this past school year! Our AIM report card gives a recap of the year and a few fun details:

aim report card school year 2016 2017

Summer break is underway! Christine, our Mobile Lab & Curriculum Coordinator, and Emily, NASC Director, stay hard at work creating new agricultural science lab experiments and updating the technology in AIM. School Year 2017 – 2018 is going to be another incredible year!

We are very grateful to the generous support of our Ag In Motion Lab Sponsors, the NASC community of supporters and the teachers and students who make our mobile lab such a special place.


2017 Ag Hall of Fame Inductee Announcement

The National Ag Science Center is pleased to announce the confirmation of the Modesto Junior College’s Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department induction into the Ag Hall of Fame. “As we celebrate our 20th Annual Ag Hall of Fame Gala, it is fitting for the inductee to be an educational institution. The MJC Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department has one of the finest agriculture programs in the nation. We are thrilled it will take its place alongside the other notable companies and individuals who have impacted the community in the Ag Hall of Fame,” stated NASC Director, Dr. Emily Lawrence.

The annual induction ceremony is a time where the community comes together to recognize the accomplishments of individuals, families and companies who have contributed to Stanislaus County’s role as one of the nation’s leading agricultural counties. With a longstanding history in this community, the MJC Agriculture Department has impacted and assured/continued the development of agriculture in this community, inspiring future farmers, business people and leading innovators in the industry. MJC President, Dr. Jill Stearns stated “Induction into the Ag Hall of Fame is an honor and wonderful recognition of the Modesto Junior College Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department. MJC is proud to partner with the National Ag Science Center in providing agriculture education to our community.”

For nearly 100 years, the Modesto Junior College Agriculture Department has prepared students for future careers. Whether it is education and training to enter the workforce or to strive for higher educational pursuits, the MJC Agriculture staff has been a model of professionalism in providing “hands-on” skills and a strong educational foundation for student success. Many of the staff members have been recognized for their contributions to agricultural education by being selected to the highest honor bestowed by the California Agriculture Teachers Association (CATA), the “Teacher of Excellence.” With an outstanding reputation, MJC Agriculture enjoys a great deal of notoriety for its exemplary programs and leadership opportunities for students.

Modesto Junior College is located in the fertile soil of the Northern San Joaquin Valley which features the production of almonds, walnuts, peaches, apricots, grapes, corn, small grains, vegetables, livestock, dairy products, poultry and poultry products as well as many wholesale and retail nurseries.  The area also includes a large food processing industry, implement manufacturing and implement dealerships.  Agriculture and related businesses are the major employers in the Modesto Junior College service area.

MJC Agriculture offers one of the most comprehensive community college agriculture programs in the nation. MJC’s agriculture curriculum encompasses 16 Associate of Science Degrees and 13 Technician Certificates. Commitment to excellence is evident in the instructional program, which utilizes modern technology and practical hands-on approaches to student learning. Industry collaboration has always been a hallmark of the MJC Agriculture Department. Located in the heart of California’s Central Valley, industry field trips enable students and staff to experience the latest developments in technological advances in food and fiber production, on many occasions within 30 minutes of the campus.

Student leadership has always been a highlight of the program. With well over 150 members in the MJC Young Farmers Club, which is a Charter Affiliate of the California Agriculture Leaders, members can take advantage of many opportunities to hone their leadership skills.   Students have additional opportunities for leadership training by being active participants in the Ag Ambassadors. There are also program area clubs such as the Animal Science Club, Dairy Club, Quarter Scale Tractor Club, Environmental Horticulture Club and the Poultry Club.

The Modesto Junior College Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department offers a unique blend of modern instruction offered by a diverse, talented and dedicated staff utilizing the most current technology in an applied class and farm laboratory setting. It is the vision of the MJC Agriculture Department to continue to provide the most outstanding agricultural education experience for the existing and future leaders of this dynamic and rich agricultural industry.  The next generation of agriculturalists are being developed and will continue to serve the food and fiber needs of California, the United States, and the world.

Chris Lehikainen, NASC Board President commented, “We were very impressed by the swell of support and efforts of the Advisory Board of the Modesto Junior College Agriculture Department to bring this nomination forward. We hope the community will join us in congratulating and celebrating this wonderful institution.”

This year’s Gala Induction Ceremony will be held on Friday, November 3, 2017. Event details will be announced in the coming weeks. For more details regarding event sponsorship and underwriting opportunities please contact Edie Nehls at

AgScience Ambassadors: NASC partnership with CSU, Stanislaus

AgScience Ambassadors

NASC Pilot Program launched in October 2016

In the fall of 2016, the NASC received a grant from Stanislaus Community Foundation Credit Bureau to implement the pilot program AgScience Ambassadors. The goals of this program are to bring additional hands-on agricultural science education experiences to 3rd and 4th graders, create opportunities for college students to gain teaching experience and career training, and to offer science lesson enrichment in the classroom.

In partnership with CSU, Stanislaus the AgScience Ambassadors pilot program launched in 3 school districts in the Central Valley. Six CSU, Stanislaus Education students gained valuable in-classroom experience sharing the Soil Autopsy Lab experiment with eager 3rd and 4th graders. Students are taught methods of inquiry, observation and draw conclusions based on the experiments performed. They learn how soil is created, what is it is comprised of and discuss how climate and environmental factors impact soil.

In the months of October, November and December our AgScience Ambassadors visited 12 classrooms impacting 268 students. We at the NASC are very grateful for this initial grant allowing us to develop and implement the program. Omega Nu Foundation and the Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation have donated additional funding which enables the NASC to continue to bring this exciting programming into the classroom. The NASC vision is to continue to develop innovative programs like this to impact students at every step of their career path offering opportunities for a greater understanding the community they live in and the opportunities available to them in the Central Valley agricultural industry.

Ag In Motion: 5 Years of Mobile Agricultural Science Education

Ag In Motion keeps rolling


Bringing agricultural science to more than 100,000 students for over 5 years!



Ag In Motion (AIM) made its debut as the only mobile agricultural science laboratory in California on August 29, 2011 at Prescott Senior Elementary in Modesto. Over 400 seventh graders had hands-on science experiences that day learning about and exploring the parts of a bug’s mouth. In the first 5 weeks 2,800 students were served at over 10 schools. To date every middle school in Stanislaus County has a scheduled visit in AIM. We at the NASC are proud to have shared our innovative and unique agricultural science programming with more than 100,000 students over the past 5 years.


AIM was conceptualized by the NASC Board of Directors and staff in 2010 with the goal of constructing a mobile laboratory classroom to bring agricultural science to middle schools. The vision including developing lesson plans to meet middle school science standards while engaging and informing students about the many and varied careers in ag and ag related industries. Diligently they worked to bring their vision to life and the concept evolved into AIM; a 53-foot tractor trailer which was transformed into a high-tech science lab.


Lesson plans are shared by our engaging and skilled Mobile Lab and Curriculum Coordinator. Students enthusiastically participate in the lab experiments, complete and submit their lab notebooks for grading. Schools are able to choose their own laboratory lesson from the following options: bug mouthparts – form and function; light – photosynthesis and colors and chromatography; strawberry DNA extraction; seed disbursal and developing a dichotomous key. Teachers have praised the Ag In Motion program for its attention to detail, standards-based lessons, hands-on approach and the opportunity to expand on the lessons taught in the classroom.


“When are you coming back?!” “How can I do this at home?” This is the best feedback we receive from the students and we are honored that we have been asked to return to sites time and again. As our programs continue to grow and expand we look forward to reaching more counties in the Central Valley. This year we will bring AIM to a few sites in Hilmar and San Joaquin. We look forward to continuing to share innovative agricultural science with middle schools in the Central Valley!